Could there be a more a more spectacular ending to our Spring season? Next Saturday EPT are excited to welcome the wonderful lunatics of Opera Della Luna and their magical re-imagining of Strauss’ most famous operetta Die Fledermaus.
Check out this excerpt from Nicola Lisle’s Oxford Times interview with OdL’s artistic director Jeff Clarke, as he talks about the ideas behind the company’s sparkling contemporary re-working, and how he came to love the oft-performed operetta.
“Revenge, mistaken identity and marital infidelity — these are the essential ingredients of many a play and opera. But few, arguably, have served them up with such liberal helpings of wit and sparkle as Johann Strauss, and Die Fledermaus remains as popular now as when it was first produced in Vienna in 1874.
Opera della Luna’s ensemble version… captures all that effervescence but with a fresh, contemporary feel, including a new translation by the company’s founder and artistic director, Jeff Clarke, and new musical arrangements by Tony Britten.
‘We decided to make Eisenstein an investment banker, and make his crime being caught with drugs,’ explains Jeff. ‘He is a heavy drinker so is sent to a rehab clinic, instead of going to prison as in the original, where his crime was supposed to be insulting a policeman, which always seemed a bit far-fetched to me. Adele is the Eisensteins’ cleaner, not their maid, but otherwise the story still works fine. We made it Halloween because it tied in with the bat.’
The new translation helps to emphasise the modern feel.
‘It gives a distinct OdL style to our work. It also means the piece could say what I wanted it to say, and make it work for our size and our ideas. And it’s exciting to do something new!’
Any anxieties about the production were soon dispelled when the opening season received rave reviews from both audience and press.
‘We were the critics’ choice in Opera Now, and their reviewer Robert Thickness wrote most enthusiastically about the show. There were many other rave local reviews, too. When we played Didcot last year a member of the audience wrote in the comments book: ‘At last! Operetta for the under 40s’.'”
Saturday April 30 | 7.30pm